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Germany ignoring majority of fossil fuel subsidies in G20 review – ODI experts

Written by Shelagh Whitley

Germany is ignoring the vast majority of its fossil fuel subsidies in a review of its own support to oil, gas and coal published today, experts at the Overseas Development Institute have warned.

As part of the G20 peer review process, which aims to increase transparency on fossil fuel subsidies and identify those which should be eliminated, Germany has said it has only two subsidies which need to be removed. Both of these are already required to be terminated by 2018 under an existing EU commitment. 

Meanwhile, OECD data published today shows Germany’s fossil fuel subsidies are rising, with year on year increases in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The new OECD data shows that Germany had a total of 23 subsidies to fossil fuel consumption and production, worth €3.9 billion overall.

Research published by the Overseas Development Institute and Climate Action Network (Europe) in September found Germany’s total support to fossil fuels, including through fiscal support and public finance, was nearly €36 billion a year between 2014 and 2016, with a total of 87 subsidies and support measures identified.

Shelagh Whitley, head of the Climate and Energy Programme at ODI, said: 'Germany is subsidising climate chaos and is saying it won’t stop.

'While Germany is at COP23 promoting fossil fuel subsidy reform as a critical tool to achieve the Paris goals, it is refusing to even acknowledge its own support for oil, gas and coal. The only two subsidies that Germany has defined as ‘inefficient’ are ones that it has a commitment to end under an EU agreement to end subsidies to hard coal mining by 2018.

'Germany is also eliminating support to workers and communities, while denying the cost of subsidies it continues to provide to diesel transport, coal fired power, and wider fossil fuel production and consumption which drive dangerous climate change and pollute our air.'


For more information or to arrange an interview with Shelagh Whitley please contact James Rush on [email protected] or call +44 (0)7808 791265